Photos by LeeKay Photography.

5 easy tips for making your newborn photo shoot a success

Because the newborn stage is so incredibly fleeting, you don’t have very long to capture those precious moments with beautiful photos. And while you may usually find yourself aiming for a snap-and-go mentality in terms of creating those lifelong memories, planning ahead can be essential. We spoke to Jackie Haxthausen of LeeKay Photography to talk all things newborns and learn how to create a magical baby photo shoot.

“I think it’s such an honor that people trust me with this job,” says Haxthausen. “I get to create beautiful memories that I hope become family heirlooms. There is nothing better than walking into a home of a repeat client and seeing previous work of mine hanging on their walls. Not to mention, what is better than cuddling babies and chatting with new moms?”

Read on to discover some of Haxthausen’s best tips:

When to schedule:

I like to do newborns between 2 and 4 weeks old. Because I do lifestyle and not a lot of posing, I don’t feel rushed to get the photos in the first few days. Bringing a new baby home can be so overwhelming, and I think a few weeks to adjust can make the newborn session less stressful.

How to prepare:

Having one or two photo-ready places in your home can be super helpful. I often move things around and help tidy when I get there as well. I’m also happy to capture the situation as is, if it’s what the family wants. I usually suggest a full (recently fed) newborn baby to help the session move along, but we all know the baby is leading the session, and that is OK. The best advice I can give is to not stress. The baby (and other siblings) always sense it.

Go-to shots:

I usually always start with the entire family shots while cooperation is the highest. I like to get everyone in position, and give cues that allow me to capture true interactions as they happen. If there are siblings, I try to always get them with the baby alone as well. Shots with Mom and Dad individually with the baby are always super important. Something about the size of your infant in your arms is just so fleeting. And last, but not least, the baby alone in natural positioning.  

Outfits for baby:

I recommend something classic like a day gown—I especially love soft ones that keep baby comfortable while still looking beautiful. I also like a simple diaper cover for seeing all their baby details, and a swaddle to help keep them content.


The importance of newborn photos:

Your baby grows so rapidly in the first year. You will never regret having this special time documented. I also think they aren’t just for us as parents, but for your children and their children in years to come. Photographs are a legacy that to me are priceless.